Thursday, March 13, 2014

Paul Ryan Blames Poverty On Lazy ‘Inner City’ Men

Proving once again that he is a complete asshole, Paul Ryan - a man born to wealth who never had to worry about money or finding a job given his family's business - is once again sending a coded racist message that poverty is the fault of the victims.  I'm sure his effort to blame poverty on "lazy inner city men" pays well with the GOP's increasingly elderly white Christofascist base. As for the Catholic religious beliefs that Ryan claims to live by, his bias and efforts to slash social safety net programs show the utter hypocrisy of Ryan's feigned religiosity.  Ryan also conveniently ignores that the Congressional GOP has consistently blocked programs that might have improved the economy  and generated more jobs in the GOP quest to trash the economy to hurt Barack Obama's reelection chances.  Think Progress looks at this latest attack by Ryan on the poor.  Here are excerpts:

House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) previewed his upcoming legislative proposals for reforming America’s poverty programs during an appearance on Bill Bennett’s Morning in America Wednesday, hinting that he would focus on creating work requirements for men “in our inner cities” and dealing with the “real culture problem” in these communities. “We have got this tailspin of culture, in our inner cities in particular, of men not working and just generations of men not even thinking about working or learning the value and the culture of work, and so there is a real culture problem here that has to be dealt with,” he said.

Ryan also cited Charles Murray, a conservative social scientist who believes African-Americans are, as a population, less intelligent than whites due to genetic differences and that poverty remains a national problem because “a lot of poor people are born lazy.”

Ryan’s comments come a week after he released a 204-page report analyzing the effectiveness of the nation’s anti-poverty programs 50 years after President Lyndon Johnson declared a national War on Poverty. The former GOP vice presidential candidate, who argues that federal anti-poverty programs have contributed to the nation’s high poverty rate and “created what’s known as the poverty trap,” is expected to offer reforms to the programs in his upcoming FY 2015 budget.

Numerous anti-poverty initiatives already include work requirements, particularly long-term unemployment insurance and the Earned Income Tax Credit. Other programs, such as Head Start, allow parents to go to work while their children attend education programs. 

Work requirements have yet to significantly reduce poverty, particularly during a downturn economy. While Ryan touts the success of lowering the number of people on welfare after 1996, poverty has actually increased since the recession and the number of families whose incomes are below half the poverty line (less than $12,000 a year for a family of four) is actually higher now than it was when Congress and President Bill Clinton enacted welfare reform. Welfare’s rigid work requirements improved employment among single mothers initially, but those rates started to decline by 2001, once the economy went into recession. The work provisions also pressure some women to abandon the higher education that could lead to upward mobility in favor of lower-paying jobs that meet the law’s standards.

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